Flair bartender takes center stage at The D
Ivan Grant is psychic! OK, maybe things aren’t that dramatic, but in a way the flair bartender did predict the future.
While attending Dartmouth College, when he would find himself talking to some of the alumni there, “I would joke around and tell them, ‘Oh yeah, I’m getting my degree in theater, so you’ll probably see me tending bar one day,’ never thinking that I’d actually be making a career out of bartending,” he said.
While his goal after graduation was to star on Broadway, Grant’s theater degree didn’t go to waste, as his stage became the bar, where he in fact does perform for a worldwide audience—as a flair bartender at The D hotel’s popular Longbar. “People ask, ‘Are you ever going to get a job in your field?’ And I say, ‘I already have a job in my field,’” Grant said. “What better stage do you have? What better audience do you have? I can assume any number of characters at any point.”
For more than a decade, Grant has been entertaining behind a bar. He first started his career in his home state of New Jersey and honed his flair bartending skills at his neighborhood TGI Friday’s. Eventually, his talents had him competing for the brand all over the world. Six years ago, he moved to Las Vegas to up his game, and while he’s worked at some of the Strip’s most popular flair hot spots, he’s been with The D now for more than four years.
“My eight hours behind this bar, it is my bar,” Grant said with pride. “It may belong to The D; it may be (the owner) Derek Stevens’ bar, but for his sake, it’s my bar, too, and I’m protecting it as if I built it.”
Blue Raspberry Lemonade
Whenever someone comes up to the Longbar and says, “Just make me something good and fruity,” Grant delivers one of his own creations, the Blue Raspberry Lemonade. The you-can’t-taste-the-alcohol-so-that-makes-it-dangerous cocktail is mixed with Skyy Infusions raspberry vodka, blue Curaçao, sour mix and topped off with Sprite. “This is a cocktail that I could make in 10 seconds, or I can do a good five-minute show if someone wants me to,” Grant said. Visit the Longbar yourself and ask for the flair show—you’ll surely be impressed.